[WEBCAST] Mining in Mongolia: How Long Can It Boom?VIEW EVENT DETAILS
Winners and Losers, Conflicts and Solutions
They are called ninja miners – some 100’000 people at peak times digging for gold or other natural resources in Mongolia. “Ninja” as they often cover their faces from dust and carry green pans that resemble the shells of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. Many former pastoralists have engaged in this artisanal mining, working aside industrial miners, as one of few income generating activities. The mining boom started in the 1990s when Mongolia transitioned to a free marked democracy allowing foreign investments. Since then, the sector has had an oversized influence on Mongolia’s GDP, leaving behind agriculture as the economy’s former center piece.
What are the main stages that have shaped the mining sector since the 1990s? How has the boom in mining transformed society? What answers do regulators and actors have to the toll mining has taken on the land, air, and the environment as a whole? And what role do Chinese investment and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) play?
In this webcast, the University of Zurich’s Byambabaatar Ichinkhorloo starts off by giving us an in-depth understanding of the evolution and ongoing issues around mining in Mongolia. He will then be joined by Beibei Gu of the Zoï Environment Network, who focuses on environmental issues, the Chinese perspective as importer and investor as well as the challenges and opportunities of the BRI for Mongolia’s mining sector. This webcast is moderated by the anthropologist Emilia Sulek.
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Dr. Byambabaatar Ichinkhorloo is a senior lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, the University of Zurich and a co-investigator of "Gobi Framework" research project, the University of Oxford. As a social anthropologist, Byamba is studying how people make a living in Mongolia since 1990. His research mainly focuses on pastoralism, political ecology, and mining. Apart from his academic career, he worked as a research consultant in development agencies and interacted with different actors whose perceptions and opinions contrast sharply.
Beibei Gu is a sustainability and environmental policy specialist working for the Geneva based NGO Zoï Environment Network. Beibei contributed to the recently launched synthesis report Greening the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor. She has more than ten years of professional experience across international organizations (UNEP), multinational corporations and environmental NGOs, and is experienced in the global environment agenda including the United Nations (UN) Inclusive Green Economy, sustainable infrastructure and investment, China’s clean air policy, environmental transparency and green supply chain.
Dr. Emilia Sulek is a scholar of China, Tibet and Central Asia. She writes about contemporary Asian societies, shadow economies, development, state power, political conflict and environment, and gender politics. She is a member of ROADWORK: an anthropological research project about the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. Photo by Daniela Kienzler.
For event details visit https://asiasociety.org/switzerland/events/webcast-mining-mongolia-how-long-can-it-boom For event details visit https://asiasociety.org/switzerland/events/webcast-mining-mongolia-how-long-can-it-boom